- Hockey Rambling
- Written by Michael Amato
Thoughts on Anderson and Lehner, Backstrom, Harding, and Kuemper, and Brodeur.
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The Craig Anderson extension is puzzling and bad news for Robin Lehner owners. With Anderson making more than $4 million annually and Lehner pulling in $2.2 million, the Sens are dishing out a fair chunk of change for their goalies. Well, it's not a crazy amount, but when you factor in one will be sitting on the bench every night, you have to wonder if they could better use that cash to upgrade their roster elsewhere.
Lehner is clearly the goaltender of the future, so it probably would have made sense to let Anderson play out the final year of his deal (or at least part of it) and reassess things later in the season.
Lehner is still only 23, but with fairly solid numbers in brief playing time over the last three years it makes you wonder if the team has some reservations about turning to him full-time. Then again, Anderson has been spectacular for the majority of his time in Ottawa, so maybe they just don't want to let him go yet.
Sticking with goaltending tandems for a moment, what do you make of the Minnesota Wild's situation next year? All indications are Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding will be coming back to start the year, so where does that leave Darcy Kuemper?
Kuemper stepped in last year for 26 games and looked good, playing especially well in six playoff appearances. He certainly didn't look like the situation overwhelmed him. I'd be shocked if he doesn't play a significant role in the Wild's net next season given all the games Harding and Backstrom have missed as of late, but it's going to be hard to justify stashing him on your roster if you are in a one-year league.
Or, staying with the Wild and this situation, I wonder if that could ultimately be a landing spot for Martin Brodeur depending on how things play out. If Harding or Backstrom miss a significant amount of time for any reason and the team isn't confident enough in Kuemper, there's an outside shot they turn to Brodeur. The future Hall-of-Famer is just waiting for an injury at this point and the Wild would fit into his contender requirement.
Still, is Brodeur really an upgrade over Kuemper at this point other than from an experience factor? I would say no, but teams have made bigger panicked moves before.
Aleksey Morozov, one of the few players to wear No. 95, is reportedly retiring from hockey. Morozov was a longtime Pittsburgh Penguin but hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2004-05 lockout. He’s been playing in Russia and Morozov was one of the few snipers who used to give Martin Brodeur fits.
Here’s an excerpt from an already interview from ESPN via Pro Hockey Talk where Brodeur talks about the trouble Morozov gave him.
Dan Patrick: Who don’t you want to see coming at you on a breakaway? Maybe somebody that would surprise me?
Brodeur: Aleksey Morozov.
DP: Oh, well, he’s a good player.
MB: The kid’s got probably over 25 percent of his career goals on me. It’s unbelievable.
DP: What is it about him?
MB: I don’t know. If you figure it out, please tell me. When he shoots the puck, I never catch it really clean. When he’s going to make a pass, I think he’s shooting. When he’s shooting, I think he’s making a pass. The guy’s in my kitchen. He’s in my head. I can’t get rid of him.
I almost feel like you're trolling me with this question. From 2005-06 through 2010-11 Ales Hemsky scored 96 goals and assisted on 235 more. That's 331 points in 360 games, or .92 per game. Just what exactly are your expectations for Ales?
He obviously has a very high opinion of Hemsky and feels like he can play with anyone.
A very long time ago,I wrote a series of articles about Dustin Penner and in them showed that the Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky line was the third best in the conference. No one knew. Hemsky can play toughs, he can play with young players or veterans. He can do whatever the team needs him to do.
I'm going to wager that your readers will say "Who was that [on the backcheck] [in the passing lane] [who deflected that] [stole that puck]?" about Ales Hemsky way more often than anyone thinks they will, and maybe more often than any other forward on the Stars.
He should be a must have either way next year as he figures to play in one of two slots, alongside Jason Spezza or with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Either way that should work out just fine if he stays healthy.
Apparently Nicklas Lidstrom was offered a coaching position with the Detroit Red Wings but turned it down.
The Cannon makes a case for Nick Foligno to wear the C in Columbus.
So, it is with those qualities in mind that I came to Nick Foligno. He finds his way in the upper echelon of the statistical categories, from goals and assists, to hits and PIM. He's quick to step up and defend himself or a teammate, but equally quick to lay a big bear hug on a certain Russian netminder. He can be thoughtful and introspective in his comments with the press, but is not afraid to call things squarely as they are, whether it involved his own performance or that of others. At the same time, he has the good-natured hubris to call his own shot in the playoffs -- and then fulfill the prophecy.
So I missed this about a month ago when Ryan Kesler threw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game.
It was a little low and outside, but hey, it still beat 50 Cent’s.